A federal judge this week dismissed the discrimination lawsuit flied by Oakland police Sgt. Derwin Longmire against the city. The judge ruled there was no evidence that Oakland Police Department had done anything improper when it tried to fire him for mishandling the Chauncey Bailey murder investigation.
“Undisputed evidence demonstrates that (Longmire) had an affiliation with (Your Black Muslim Bakery) and its members and that was sufficient cause to initiate an internal affairs investigation,” U.S district Court Judge Jeffrey White said in a decision filed Monday.
Longmire had failed “to refute the city’s legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for its conduct and has no direct evidence that a discriminatory reason motivated his employer,” the judge said.
In the federal lawsuit, Longmire claimed interim police Chief Howard Jordan and Lt. Sean Whent, who headed OPD’s internal affairs division, falsely believed he was a Black Muslim. According to Longmire, that belief was their basis for seeking disciplinary action against him after state investigators concluded he intentionally compromised the investigation of Bailey’s murder in 2007 for which three bakery members are now in prison.
Longmire is now a patrol division sergeant. Longmire’s attorney, John Scott, said Longmire’s claim that he was discriminated against because he was wrongly perceived to be a Black Muslim could not be brought in the federal suit and is still pending in a state court.
“The undisputed facts demonstrate that the city had legitimate reasons for its conduct,” the judge wrote. “There is no dispute — and, in fact, plaintiff concedes — that it was proper police procedure to initiate an internal affairs investigation where there were allegations that an officer might have an affiliation with a possible homicide suspect.”